AUTHOR OF THE MONTH: Sarah Ridout
A story that immerses the reader in the expat experience of France, with meditations on the complexities of love and longing
When Charlotte de Chastenet regains consciousness after an accident, she finds herself living a stranger’s life. The previous five years are a blank, and her husband, Henri, and daughter, Ada, are strangers.
Arriving at their family chateau in southern France, she hopes to regain her memories. Instead she feels isolated and unsettled. Strange events hint at underlying darkness and menace. Charlotte doesn’t know who to trust. Did she really have an affair with their charming Irish neighbour, as her enigmatic mother-in-law suggests? And her husband, Henri seems loving and kind, but why is Charlotte so wary? Then there’s Ada, a little girl who just wants her mother back.
With the help of her friend and fellow Australian Susannah, Charlotte starts to piece her life together, but her newfound confidence is shaken with news that puts a deadline on her quest…
Written while Sarah was living as an expat in France, Le Chateau is a modern gothic novel that will appeal to readers of Kate Morton.
About the author
Sarah Ridout received a Masters in Creative Writing (First Class Honours), from University College Dublin (UCD). Over the past eleven years she has lived in four countries with her husband and two children. Her eight years surrounded by the vineyards and chateaux of southern France produced the seed of this novel. Le Chateau draws on her experiences as an expatriate, her knowledge of France, its people and customs. Le Chateau was selected to participate in the Queensland Writers Centre / Hachette Australia Manuscript Development Program before it was acquired by Echo Publishing. Sarah lives in Brisbane with her family. www.sarahridout.com